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Indian Trails
Neighborhood Watch Team

 
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JACKSONVILLE SHERIFF'S OFFICE ....ACCUSED!

Editor Note:

STReport Magazine has been proudly spotlighting a Neighborhood Watch Team's organization and success in the Indian Trails Development. As a result of the coverage..... we have received the following missive from a Mr. Jim Hucks who lives in that area.

A letter from Mr. Jim Hucks;

I disagree with your comments about JSO. I think any time a nineteen year old kid gets shot 21 times by three police officers, that to me is the use of excessive force. Also, when the passenger in the car has his hands out the window during the whole time the so-called pursuit (supported by witnesses), which was at 35 mph, gets jerked out of the car and slammed to the ground, kicked in ribs and face by two police officers, I personally consider this the use of excessive force.

These officers should be fired, not praised for doing a good job.  The kid that was killed was a quiet kid and well mannered and not an out spoken individual. The police officers lied when they said he said "Ya gotta kill me" because someone that was sick at the time and was a quiet mannered and not an out spoken person would never make comments like that to anyone, much less a police officer who had been following him for 30 minutes or more. 

What happened is this:

  1. The dog handler released the dog when the kid was getting out of the car
  2. The kid shot the dog when the dog grabbed his leg
  3. The dog handler opened fire on the kid when he saw his dog go down and the other two officers joined in the shooting as a knee jerk reaction with shots going everywhere, including homes and cars.

Now, I for one don't believe a word the police said about this incident.  They lied trying to protect their ass.

I personally think the JSO has a long way to go before being identified as "excellent".

Jim Hucks
7974 Cholo Trail
Jacksonville, Florida 32244-5430

 

In Reply we present.....

Mr. Hucks,

May I assume you are the father of James Emory Hucks? Good.... Now that we have established that fact.... may we move on? Do you really call yourself "Spiderman" or, did you use someone else's email account.  spiderman@wans.net

Do you Mr. Hucks have any idea who the passenger in the car mentioned above is?  Might I REFRESH your memory or at least lend some credibility to your missive condemning the JSO Officers who were involved in the shooting of Darren Jason Parton.  Wasn't it, in fact, YOUR SON James Emory Hucks II who was the passenger in that very automobile?  Wasn't Parton acting as your son's chauffer since your son had already lost his driver's license? Why no names Mr. Hucks?  Trying to add a little "flavor" to the "mystery juice"?

Let's try the truth instead.

Another refresher for you Mr. Hucks;  Your son's Felony/Misdemeanor Arrest Record is quite impressive or, should I say horrid.

07/29/99 DUI Pending
06/08/96 FELONY Aggravated Assault 184.02 96.6839 JAILED
02/18/96 MISDEMEANOR Failure To Appear 843.15 95.25708 Discharged
09/26/95 FELONY Violation of Probation 948.06 95.584CFA Probation Revoked
JAILED
05/15/95 MISDEMEANOR Possession of Alcohol
by a Minor
562.111 2 Days
05/15/95 MISDEMEANOR Resisting/Opposing
Arresting Officer
601.106 NOL PROS
01/20/95 FELONY Grand Theft Auto 812.012 95.589CFA Probation

In response to your Item # 1....

The Canine Patrol Officer released the dog in an attempt to distract the nineteen year old probationer, Darren Jason Parton because Parton was brandishing an automatic pistol in the Officer's faces.  A STOLEN automatic Pistol (just to make certain every little old fact is "front & center"). The dog was enlisted by the Officer  to assist in taking this probationer into custody.  When Parton shot the Dog he committed a serious crime using a firearm.  Thus, he now became an accused FELON.  For killing the Police Dog (a member of the force) and for use of a firearm in the commission of a crime. By the way... by all eyewitness accounts Parton shot the dog in the head before the dog got to him.

 

It was YOUR SON, the infamous "West Side Mafia Chieftain" who was:

  • the passenger in the car
  • was slammed to the ground
  • was kicked in the ribs and face

Is that right? 

Be glad he is still out of jail and not CHARGED WITH MURDER!  You see, the law states; that if.... you are part of a felony crime in which someone dies as a direct result of that crime... you can be charged with murder. Your son is still walking the streets and doing his "thing".  So what is your complaint?  His buddy is dead protecting the goods in the trunk and of course, resisting arrest.  How is it James E. Hucks II walked?  Can you tell us that?

Have you ever heard of a C.I.. Do you know what those initials mean?  Cooperating Individual? Confidential Informant? Whatever.... it all boils down to "a snitch."

Here another "point of truth" just to keep the record straight....

What was in the trunk of Parton's automobile Mr. Hucks?

How about Cocaine .... Parton's Cadillac's trunk had a LARGE quantity of Cocaine in it!  Hmmmm.... lets see, Parton is on probation for a Cocaine Conviction, he is brandishing a STOLEN 9mm automatic handgun and had fled from a normal traffic stop.  This guy is a real model citizen!  But wait!!  The thing that really baffles me is the lack of focus on that "ever so innocent, ill-treated passenger" in the Caddy.  Your son!  Yes sir.... another model Citizen.  Of whom Jacksonville, as a city, should be proud.  NOT!

In response to your Item # 2.... 

Truth is..... the dog was shot in the head before it reached Parton.  The dog's head was destroyed. Parton acted, not in self defense as you coyly attempt to allude to.... but simply like a trigger happy gunman.  If I might be gracious.... I'd be of the opinion this young man opted for suicide by Police.

In response to your Item # 3.... 

When the Officers..... (not only the Canine Officer) saw Parton who was in fact, brandishing an Automatic Pistol and subsequently used it to shoot and kill the dog they knew they had their lives on the line.  The Officers were left with no alternative at that point since they could reasonably expect that Parton would use the weapon on them next. Therefore... they had every right to take whatever measures necessary to subdue the man with a gun and protect both themselves and innocent bystanders.

Now, Mr. Hucks,

Might I point out you have truly proven any and all assumptions that may be taken about you trying to blather and bluster your way into painting a picture of sheer innocence for both Parton and Your Son, James E. Hucks II.   You son was, in fact, the passenger in that Cadillac on that mid July night of this past year.  Why you avoided that fact in your missive is beyond comprehension.

Sadly, you apparently failed to "mislead" anyone except perhaps yourself.   You have seemingly removed all doubt  as to the reason why your offspring have so much trouble with the law.  It is probably your attitude about the Law and your total disrespect of the Law and its representatives.

I could be generous and give you an "A" for effort in obfuscation.... but I doubt you would understand the meaning of such an award.  I can only hope that you find God... I mean truly find God.  Then and only then will you see the real facts as they are and as every law-abiding citizen of Duval County would see them.  Until such time, stay friendly and on good terms with your local Bondsman.

R. F. Mariano, Editor STReport Magazine

Two Articles that appeared
in the local newspaper

The Times-Union

Story last updated at 12:17 a.m. on Monday, July 12, 1999
photo: metro

Tim Repper examines his neighbor's truck yesterday. He said a shootout Saturday sent bullets flying through the neighborhood.
                      
- M. Jack Luedke/staff

Police defend fatal shootout
Man, police dog died in gunbattle

By Dana Treen
Times-Union staff writers

A shootout that left a West Jacksonville man and a police dog dead was an overreaction by officers, a relative of the man said yesterday, but police said their reaction was justified. Two dozen or more shots were fired Saturday night between Jacksonville officers and 19-year-old Darren Jason Parton, police said, in a standoff that riddled nearby houses and a truck with bullet holes and rocked residents of the Colfax Court cul-de-sac. Parton died of multiple gunshot wounds in the brief battle that also saw the second killing of an on-duty police canine in a month.  Titan, a 4-year-old German shepherd, had been with the department about two years, Jacksonville Sheriff's Lt. Jim Burt said.

''They [police] took their frustrations out on Darren because of the previous shooting of the other dog,'' said Stephen Aldridge, Parton's stepfather, referring to the fatal shooting last month of another police dog. ''I think it was too much excessive force. I think the situation could have been handled better.''

Burt said he thinks officers reacted properly to Parton, who wielded a gun toward police after a traffic stop. ''When he came out of the car he had a pistol in his hand; it was a semiautomatic,'' Burt said. Burt said the confrontation began about 9 p.m. when Officer M.E. Garza stopped Parton and passenger James Hucks, 21, for a traffic violation at Fire Tower and Kincaid roads, near 103rd Street. Garza was waiting for additional officers when Parton drove off. Joined by two other patrol cars, Garza followed Parton at speeds that never exceeded 45 miles per hour for several miles through the Argyle Forest area before stopping at the end of Colfax Court.

When Parton pulled to the dead end of Colfax, he stepped out of the car with a gun, Burt said. ''I don't have any idea why they pulled down this street,'' he said. ''I don't know if they were lost or wanted a standoff with police.'' Deputy Ed Sullivan, a K-9 handler, released Titan, according to homicide Sgt. D.R. Justice. The dog reached Parton, who shot the dog once before raising his gun to the officers, Justice said. Garza, Sullivan and Deputy D. Batrous returned fire, he said.

Hucks was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed but was later released. No charges are being pursued against him, and he is cooperating with investigators, Justice said.

Burt said the officers handled the situation properly. ''I think they had done everything possible to protect the people of this neighborhood,'' Burt said.

The incident rattled some residents of Colfax Court, which they said is normally filled with playing children. ''Usually, there would have been 10 or 15 kids out here playing street hockey or shooting hoops,'' said resident Tom Repper. ''It could have been a catastrophe if they had been out there.''

Repper was grilling in his back yard when he heard the commotion and saw flashing police lights. ''It happened so fast,'' he said. ''Apparently he [Parton] jumped out and shot the dog.'' Repper said he heard police yell at Parton before opening fire. He said bullets tore into the house behind Parton, hitting a truck, a privacy fence and a bedroom window. His sister-in-law, Susie Repper, was watching television when the shooting erupted outside. ''I started screaming at the kids, 'Get down, Get down,' and we crawled to my closet,'' she said. ''I felt it was the safest place.''

Parton died just before 10 p.m. at University Medical Center. Burt said the officers involved will be put on administrative leave and will have to go before a firearms review board and follow other standard procedures. Titan, who died at Brentwood Animal Clinic, was the second police dog killed in Jacksonville in recent weeks. A dog named Quanto was shot and killed June 17 in a struggle with a man who had escaped from the Duval County jail. Burt said it is normal to have a dog present during chase situations in case the suspect runs. Burt said he was in charge of the K-9 unit when Titan was brought into the department. ''He was a good dog,'' he said.

Times-Union staff writer Shawna Sundin contributed to this report.

Dog's killer carrying drugs
Police say man had stolen gun

By Kathleen Sweeney
Times-Union staff writer

While friends and relatives wonder why 19-year-old Darren Jason Parton challenged Jacksonville police and lost his life during a traffic stop Saturday night, police said the stop was far from routine. Police say Parton, on probation from a cocaine conviction, nearly struck a squad car then fled police with a trunk full of cocaine and drug paraphernalia and a 9mm handgun stolen during a March burglary.

Chief of Detectives Rick Seibler said three police officers fired at Parton at least 32 times after he got out of his Cadillac, waved a gun and told police to shoot him about 9 p.m. in Argyle Forest.

Parton then fatally shot police dog Titan and fired another shot.

Parton's father said police overreacted because of another police dog killed in the line of duty last month. And a family friend, whose son was riding with Parton at the time of the shooting, said Parton was a respectful young man who occasionally went to church with her family and stopped by to see her hours before he was killed. ''The last memory I have of him is him smiling,'' said Linda Hucks. ''A minor traffic violation ends up in thedeath of a human. It's heartbreaking.''

After Parton shot Titan, Officers M.E. Garza, Ed Sullivan and D. Batrous fired back, riddling nearby houses and a truck with bullet holes in the Colfax Court cul-de-sac. Parton died at University Medical Center. The officers have been placed on administrative leave for three to five days, Seibler said. The sheriff's Use of Force Board will review the shooting in the next six to 12 weeks to determine if it was justified, reasonable and in compliance with department policy.

''This is an extremely life threatening situation,'' Seibler said. ''It's not a classroom environment that we find ourselves standing in now. Officers react to save their lives. That's what this situation was.'' While Garza tried to stop Parton and his passenger, James Hucks, he had no idea that the driver had a lengthy juvenile record and was on probation for possession of cocaine and a firearm. Seibler wouldn't elaborate on Parton's juvenile record and wouldn't specify how much cocaine was in the trunk except that it was a large amount. Hucks wasn't charged in Saturday's incident.

After a chase covering several miles at speeds of 30 to 45 mph, Sullivan and his dog and Bartrous arrived as backup. That's when Parton stepped from the Cadillac, waving a firearm and saying, '' 'You're going to have to shoot me,' '' Seibler said.

Titan was released and bit Parton, who then shot the dog and fired another shot. Officers fired back. Police said they don't know where the second shot Parton fired went. ''We've got dogs to save police officers' lives,'' Seibler said. ''If the dog had not been there, possibly one of our officers would have been shot.''

Titan, a 4-year-old German shepherd, was shot in the chest. He is the second Jacksonville Sheriff's Office canine killed in the line of duty in a month. Nearly 90 percent of the dogs' activity involves serious felony situations. ''Every time we lose a canine, it's a sad day particularly for the canine officer,'' Seibler said. ''This agency believes in canines, and Titan did serve his purpose.''

But one animal activist says police dogs deserve to be protected just as their handlers. Kay Timmerman, 75, of Kindness and Care Rescue Adoption Center in Orange Park, is creating a fund for bulletproof vests for dogs. It's an idea she said she talked to police about 11 years ago, but then the 15-pound vests were too heavy and not practical. Today, Timmerman said she has found a 5-pound vest many police departments, including West Palm Beach, are requiring their police dogs to wear at night. ''If these vests are working in other cities and states, we know they can work here,'' she said. Timmerman is waiting for a vest she ordered from a Virginia company to arrive.

Linda Hucks, however, said while an animal's life is precious, a human life isn't replaceable. She knows because she lost a child in a car accident several years ago. She may not have lost a son in this shooting, but Parton's 1-year-old son, Thomas, lost a father. ''James is our only son, so it's very frightening when something like this takes place,'' she said. ''[Parton] was a good kid, and he loved his son. It's a shame that this happened.'

Addendum:

Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend 1999:

I received a letter from James E. Hucks dated November 23 1999.  In this letter Mr. Hucks proceeds to denigrate this entire page.  Instead of "glorifying or otherwise adding credibility" to the diatribe... I've decided to forward a copy of this letter to the JSO and in particular; the Officers involved and the Office of Chief Bennett.

As a charitable observation, I respectfully submit this entire letter seems to be sending an underlying message. Its a message appearing to cry out for help in correcting serious problems in a totally dysfunctional family.  In particular the focus appears to be upon the son... Obviously, as he seems to be the common denominator to the dysfunctional problems encountered on an almost daily basis by the Hucks family.  My thoughts are this family truly needs God and professional counseling.

 

 

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